Keeping it simple


Make text smaller Make text larger


At Lusardi’s, Claudio Meneghini fuses traditional northern Italian dishes with modern technique


Photos




How did you get started in the culinary world?

I am from the northeast of Italy, a white wine producing area, Frioli. I started in the kitchen when I was about 13 years old, and lived and cooked in Italy there until I was about 26, and then I went to London for seven years, then back to Italy for another two to run a family restaurant with my parents. But after a few years I realized it wasn’t for me. It was too countryside, too slow. I needed something else, so I decided to come here to New York.

Tell me about Lusardi’s.

I started at this restaurant started in 2001, they had an existing menu, but I put in some additional items and we do seasonal specials as well. This time of year we do a lot of white mushrooms, root vegetables, butternut squash, chestnuts, artichokes and so on. The owners, Mario and Luigi Lusardi, are from Emilia-Romagna, which I consider to be the food capital of Italy, which is why I’ve been with them for such a long time, because we are on the same page in many ways.

Your favorite thing to make at home?

Well, at home, the easiest thing to make for an Italian is a plate of pasta. Spaghetti with tomato sauce is the number one thing that anyone can eat: a kid, a grandfather, a mother, anyone. It’s the thing Italians enjoy the most when they cook at home. But of course, there is a variety of things I like to make, such as fricco, which is a traditional Friulian dish made with potatoes, Vidalia onions and Montaggio cheese. It becomes crispy on the outside and soft inside and is served with fresh polenta. This is something people from my region make at home when they have friends or somebody over.

What is your number one cooking tip?

My main suggestion is very simple, when cooking Italian use three ingredients — maximum four, and don’t go over. Keep it simple, and straight to the point. This way, you don’t confuse the flavors and you don’t confuse the customers.


Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

Image Bird perches in Central Park!
But this sighting, of a Hammond’s Flycatcher in the Ramble, is an ornithological near-miracle
Image ‘Something to sing about’
Courting couples, schmoozing seniors and scampering children have used James Cagney Place on the East Side as an informal community hub for decades. Now its status is being...
Image What next for Garodnick?
In an exit interview, the outgoing East Side Council member reflects on three terms in office, ponders a political future, recounts his accomplishments — and heads for the...
Image The slowest buses in town
City’s most sluggish routes include M42, M31 and M57, report says
Image Cash cow for Council members
The heated race for City Council speaker has become a fundraising bonanza for elected officials and candidates as aspirants for the city’s second most powerful post shower...

VIDEOS



* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters





MOST READ

Local News
‘Something to sing about’
  • Dec 12, 2017
Local News
Bird perches in Central Park!
  • Dec 12, 2017
Local News
What next for Garodnick?
  • Dec 12, 2017
Columns\Op-Ed
Soulutions
  • Dec 6, 2017

MOST COMMENTED